[lug] Fwd: OFF TOPIC: Y2K - (final thoughts - pass on if you wish)

llornkcor llornkcor at llornkcor.com
Wed Jan 19 17:19:21 MST 2000

----------  Forwarded Message  ----------
Subject: OFF TOPIC: Y2K - (final thoughts - pass on if you wish)
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2000 16:37:27 -0500
From: Christopher Molnar <molnarc at nebsllc.com>

Y2K Heroes  by Judy Backhouse

The truly crazy headed for the hills with fortified bunkers and ammunition.
The more cautious bought water and tinned food. Even the most optimistic
drew some extra cash the week before. Everyone speculated about the

But in the IT world, we worked. We checked code. We corrected code. We
tested code. We rolled dates forward and backward and forward and backward
until our nerves were paper-thin. We upgraded hardware. We upgraded
operating systems (to cope with the new hardware). We upgraded compilers
(to cope with the new operating systems). We modified more code (to cope
with the new compilers). And then we began the cycle again of testing and
rolling forward and testing and rolling backward.

We initiated great, complex Y2k projects. We compiled project plans. We
filled in endless forms about the state of our Y2k projects. We wrote
monthly reports about the progress of the Y2k projects. We went to meetings
where we were told how the future of the company depended on the Y2k
project being completed in time.

We dealt with panicked business people. We soothed troubled nerves at
dinner parties. We were asked to predict the outcome by distant cousins who
knew we were "in IT". We became overnight experts in the working of diesel
generators, photocopiers, motor vehicles and washing machines.
And, collectively, we averted the disaster. Like superman of old, the IT
professionals of today managed to intercept nothing less than the end of
the world. In an industry where projects run notoriously over the most
pessimistic time estimates, we met the deadline. The clocks ticked over to
the year 2000 with nothing more than minor hitches.

And were they grateful? Did the world thank us and laud us as the heroes we
quite clearly were? No! They turned around and called it "all hype". They
questioned the money spent. We did our jobs so damned well that the only
question remaining was whether there had been any need to do the job at

So, to all those IT people out there who slaved away at the Y2k problems
over the past few years, who endured the pressure of fearful but helpless
managers; who lost endless sleep testing things at night because there
wasn't a separate test machine; who cancelled their December leave; who
couldn't be in exotic places to welcome the start of the new millennium;
who stayed sober on New Year's eve because they were on standby; who went
work on the 1st and the 2nd to boot up the machines - I say put your feet
up, pat yourselves and each other on the back and go and get some much
needed sleep with a smug smile on your face. We did it.

The IT people across the planet are heroes - even if unsung ones. Like
housework, what we do is not appreciated unless we don't do it. But like
the housewives of old we go on doing it, knowing that it is good, honest,
necessary work - and that it gives us inordinate power. So, my fellow
programmers, system administrators, database administrators, operators,
analysts and support staff - congratulations on a job well done. Ours may
be the youngest profession on the planet, but this 21st century belongs to

Christopher Molnar
Quality Assurance
Aenta US Healthcare
Middletown, CT USA
email: mailto://molnarc@aetna.com

Christopher Molnar
mailto:molnarc at nebsllc.com
mailto:molnarc at aetna.com


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